Archive for April, 2002

Cleaning out my inbox.

Sunday, April 21st, 2002

here’s something chris sent me a long time ago [right after the election] which strikes me as amusing.

To the citizens of the United States of America,
In the light of your failure to elect a President of the USA and thus to
govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your
independence, effective today.
Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchial duties over
all states, commonwealths and other territories. Except Utah, which she
does not fancy. Your new prime minister (The rt. hon. Tony Blair, MP for
the 97.85% of you who have until now been unaware that there is a world
outside your borders) will appoint a minister for America without the need
for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A
questionnaire will be circulated next year to determine whether any of you
To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules
are introduced with immediate effect:
1. You should look up “revocation” in the Oxford English Dictionary.
Then look up “aluminium”. Check the pronunciation guide. You will be
amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it. Generally, you
should raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. Look up “vocabulary”.
Using the same twenty seven words interspersed with filler noises such as
“like” and “you know” is an unacceptable and inefficient form of
communication. Look up “interspersed”.
2. There is no such thing as “US English”. We will let Microsoft know
on your behalf.
3. You should learn to distinguish the English and Australian accents.
It really isn’t that hard.
4. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as
the good guys.
5. You should relearn your original national anthem, “God Save The
Queen”, but only after fully carrying out task 1. We would not want you to
get confused and give up half way through.
6. You should stop playing American “football”. There is only one kind
of football. What you refer to as American “football” is not a very good
game. The 2.15% of you who are aware that there is a world outside your
borders may have noticed that no one else plays “American” football. You
will no longer be allowed to play it, and should instead play proper
football. Initially, it would be best if you played with the girls. It is
a difficult game. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to
play rugby (which is similar to American “football”, but does not involve
stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour
like nancies). We are hoping to get together at least a US rugby sevens
side by 2005.
7. You should declare war on Quebec and France, using nuclear weapons
if they give you any merde. The 98.85% of you who were not aware that there
is a world outside your borders should count yourselves lucky. The Russians
have never been the bad guys. “Merde” is French for “shit”.
8. July 4th is no longer a public holiday. November 8th will be a new
national holiday, but only in England. It will be called “Indecisive Day”.
9. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and it is for
your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we
10. Please tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us crazy.

Thank you for your cooperation.

game over. Insert coin.

Sunday, April 21st, 2002

I can’t even describe any of it. But the overwhelming sense is game over, I lose.

You know, it’s funny. As long as you don’t look outside – as long as you hide completely in whatever you’re doing and don’t think about alternatives – you can convince yourself that your life is perfect. As I am so fond of pointing out when people wish for happiness, emotions are a reletive thing.

Or are they?

Maybe they are absolute but our awareness of them is reletive.

Anyway, as is the way of the universe, I’m paying for my highs – including one of the most incredible experiences of my life – with equivalant lows. Dawning realizations. That kind of thing. I don’t like what I’m realizing.

there’s that question presented in the matrix: do you really want to know that your entire world is simulated? Is ignorance bliss? But I had to take the red pill – doing otherwise would have been out of charicter. And so now I know.

Yes put it so aptly – the road I want is not the one I’m shown.

Is earth day always on 4/20?

Saturday, April 20th, 2002

Somehow I find that amusing.

Thoughts on the livejournal process and my recent visit to CA

Saturday, April 20th, 2002

I thought I’d throw out one more thought while I had it, even though it means that my journal entries are a few minutes apart, which makes it appear that I have no life. [Well, that’s probebly actually true, I probebly have no life. But, hey..]

I’ve been studying the dynamics of how keeping a journal – and a publicly readable one at that – affects my life. The first thing I’ve noticed is that keeping a journal at all is a very useful thing – it helps me focus my thoughts, and develop threads over a long period of time – by going back and skimming entries I made earlier, I can see if my thoughts were well explained, and if not explain them better – and I can also see if I still agree with myself two weeks down the road.

However, I kind of wonder about the publicly accessable nature. There are a lot of things that I think about that I don’t write down because I know people will be reading this – secrets that I have to keep, ideas that I wouldn’t want others to develop, all sorts of things along that vein.

On the other hand, knowing that others are or someday might be reading what I’m typing does tend to make me form my thoughts better, and word them better, and voice my opinions more clearly and consider the other sides that will be presented as I’m voicing them.

It also, of course, means that I have a slight titch of paranoia that some of my more unpopular ideas will attract the attention of the powers that be, which could have very interesting rammifcations.

To a certain extent, I guess I shouldn’t worry – I write so many things that are publicly published that I don’t feel I should have any fear to speak of that anyone will ever take the time to read them all – but then again, there’s also always the risk that some small peice of them will be read out of context.

I hope to continue to find time to update this as I grow and change, so that eventually I can read back over my entire life history. One of the things I firmly beleive is that both youth and age have their advantages, and both are neccesary to a successful speices as a whole. I hope that as I grow older, I don’t become convinced that the ‘radical’ ideas the younger people are having [and I’m sure they will] are evil, wrong, and bad.

I am to a certain extent guilty of this in the musical arena – I have a very hard time enjoying gangsta rap as they talk about bitch-slappen’ their hos and capping their enemies [I’m sure I screwed that up somehow, but oh well] because I find this message to be very negative and I don’t really like to listen to music that is very negative – because I feel that whatever music I listen to programs and shapes me. But I also have to wonder to what extent I dislike the music [and the music of bands like Korn] just because it’s something that came into fashon after my tastes in music had carmalized [to whatever extent that they have – which isn’t clear, I keep finding new types of music and new peices that I like to this day – though I admit it isn’t as frequent as it once was]

Anyway, to return to my topic thread, I do think that keeping a journal is helpful to my development as a person – and I’d like to think that at least a small percentage of my ramblings will be useful to other people like me who are likewise trying to figure out the world. But I don’t know.

Anyway, I’d better go take a shower and get ready to fly out. Unfortunately looks like I won’t be able to find anyone to share my last meal in CA – tried a few people, but everyone’s either at work (on a saturday – isn’t the modern economy great?) or out with far more interesting people than me ;-). So I think I’ll just hit up mcdonalds in the airport.

Had a great visit in southern california – a wonderful time, wonderful weather [but isn’t it always], saw the friends who are most important to me [except for CM, but he’s always at work these days, making up for the long stretch of unemployment he just experienced I imagine], laughed more than I have in six months [I’ll have to tell a few of the funnier stories later, with the names changed of course], and in general it has been a high point in my recent life. I go home refreshed, happy – a little confused/conflicted about a few things that I can’t really talk about, but for the most part feeling better about myself and the world around me than I have for a while.

In general, it’s been a wonderful visit, and financially lucrative, but now it’s time to get back to the ‘real’ work that doesn’t pay nearly as much. 😉

Actually, there are two possible projects in the offing that may require a return, and pay – and I will keep my fingers crossed that one or both goes through. Not only could I use the money, I could _definately_ do with some more time in the big CA.

I think at some point I’m going to have to admit that I really secretly love california. All of it – from the southernmost to the northernmost – there’s just something about it that I like. City of dreams.

I really like the culture in seattle, too – but the weather _sucks_. It’s not the rain that bugs me, it’s the fact that it’s always cold. It was (on april 18th) 36 degrees when I flew out. That’s too effen’ cold for my tastes.

Well, enough babbling for now, I’d better return to my regularly scheduled life.


Richard Marx, Labels, etc

Saturday, April 20th, 2002

You know, Richard Marx must have a LOT of interesting relationship problems. I’ve been listening to his music lately, and he seems to face – and stare in the face of – a lot of the classics. Cheating, distance seperating, being accused of killing your lover ;-)..

Actually, I’ve noticed that musicians as a class seem to have more problems in their love and lust lives than most. I wonder why this is – and which is teh chicken and which is the egg. Is it that pain produces art, or art produces pain? Or somewhere in between? I don’t know – I find life entirely too complex, especially at the moment. I am, however, going to cite a Richard Marx song, just to illustrate my point.

[This is just another example of my 80s tastes gone rampant – I imagihne pretty much all my friends – and perhaps everyone in the world – thinks of RM as utter schlock]

Anyway – ‘Hold On To The Night’

Just when I beleived I couldn’t ever want for more
This ever changing world pushes me through another door
I saw you smile – and my mind could not erase the beauty of your face
Just for a while, won’t you let me shelter you

Hold on to the night
Hold on to the memory
I wish that I could give you something more
that I could be yours

How do we explain something that took us by suprise
Promises in vain, love that is real but in disguise
What happens now – do we break another rule,
let our lovers play the fool
I don’t know how to stop feeling this way

[chorus repeats]

[into bridge:]

Well I think that I’ve been true to everybody else but me
And the way I feel about you makes my heart long to be free
Every time I look into your eyes I’m helplessly aware
That the someone I’ve been searching for is right there

Okay, this is pushing the shlock-o-meter even for my notouriously shlocky tastes

[into chorus]


Anyway, see my point? Happy people in well ajusted relationships do not generally write music like this. Or do they? Or does RM even write his own songs? Increasingly, I’ve noticed that people don’t – write their own songs, that is – and it seems like you seldom get the attributtes of a good songwriter and a good singer in the same person. I think that’s cool – teamwork and all – but occasionally I’m tempted to psychoanalyze performers by the work they do, and that makes it a bit more difficult. Still, one presumes that they at least choose which songs to do, and what inflection to put into them.

Again, maybe not. The corperate label machine probebly just chooses which songs they think will appeal to a band’s demographic and then forces that band to perform those songs.

In a way, this is what I find so ironic about Metallica’s suing of napster – here is a band that actually complained that the label was stifling them, and then when they saw a oppertunity for not only them but every single musician in america to get free, they sued it. Yes, that makes a whole lot of sense, now doesn’t it?

A sample in a jar

Saturday, April 20th, 2002

[the scene.. a long haired, thinnish, geekish boy, who looks like he is stuck in the 80s, carrying a suitcase and a laptop case, walking slowly through the streets of a city]

Phish [Sample In a jar]: (playing in background)

It’s hidden far away
But some day I may tell
The tale of mental tangle
when into your world I fell

Without you now I wander, soaking,
secretly afraid
But in your grasp, the fears don’t last,
though some of them have stayed

I wheeled around because I didn’t hear what you had said
and saw you dancing with elihu up on limo’s bed
and I was foggy, rather groggy, you helped me to my car
the mind that melts enclosing me,
a sample in a jar

[Switch image to a black and white shot, stock footage, white caption at bottom, ‘Bell labs invents the transistor’ and the date (1954?)]

Now the market stands unfolding
with all the willies and their wares
I shuffle by, alert but numb,
to all the glances and the glares
I think of you unheeding all the times I raised my cup
it’s now I know that you knew that I’d soon end up
(end up?)

[Image shifts to stock footage of semiconductor/IC fab facility. Caption [‘Atmel corperation introduces minaturized low power nonvolitile memory (1994)’]]

[Image shifts to page of X10 ads. Caption ‘X10 begins aggressive marketing campaign for miniturized CCD cameras, at first marketing their product to voyuers’ (1999)]

[Image shifts to split screen between dog and active transponder equipment next to a penny [active transponder is much, much smaller] ‘The first active transponders are inserted into living flesh commercially, to identify pets (2000)]

[Image shifts to monolithic IC next to penny [‘Atmel dataflash replaces the hard disk drive with smaller, lower power consumption nonvolitile memory. A device capable of recording 8 hours of video will now operate off a single battery for several months. (2005)]

[Image shifts back to person walking down the street, then change depth of feild focus to small box on light post person has just passed, then change to pixellated image of walking person to imply pickup by that box]

[image shifts to person watching a video on a laptop in a car (on a realplayer screen), cell phone obviously connected to computer. Caption: ‘High speed internet, capable of video transmission, is available to consumers over the digital cell phone network. (2006)]

[image shifts to small PCB that is obviously camera [has lens] powered off a single double-A battery – ‘Corperations begin using active transponders to track their employees, combined with a distributed video camera network that records their actions, wherever they are, 24 hours a day. Evidence gathered this way is determined to be legal in court (2007)’]

[Image shifts to MiniSoft logo, then to easy drop down menus for setting up security system. Caption ‘Minisoft sells software and partners with hardware manufactorers to sell security software to perform this operation to corperations that can be set up by nontechnical employees (2008)’]

[music transitions to ‘Welcome To My Mind’ (hard, hard techno), series of flashes of factory where thousands of these boxes are produced, then to older man talking on cell phone (we hear clearly through the music ‘He knows!’, then to image of person walking down street on screen, then to police car with lights flashing, then to flashing alteration between kid at keyboard in dark room and scope screen showing data pulse]

[Return to software, mouse pointer select ‘Corrective Actions’, then ‘Minor Discomfort’ (other options include a greyed-out ‘Terminate’). Caption ‘Minisoft develops implants capable of delivering corrective stimulation to nerves, to encourage productivity of employees.’ then scrolls up and the next caption appears ‘At first, this technology is outlawed in the united states but used in fabrication plants in China’. Scrolls again ‘However, after a major economic collapse, this technique is legalized in the US (2018)’]

[Return to person walking down street. Person sees police car round the corner, tires squealing – person gets paniced look [at the same time as the lyric ‘dying in a world of new devices’], grabs something from a pocket and slaps it on the back of another individual.]

[Shot of clear glass office door, wording says human resources. Inside are HR person with white coat and person in suit. Person in suit has one arm bare, and HR person is injecting something into it with a syringe. Caption ‘A standerd requirement of employment becomes the implanting of tracking device, which also can monitor the levels of alchohol and THC in the bloodstream. (2024)’]

[Return to shot of street, but this time pixellated and focusing on person that previous individual slapped patch on the back of. Police are placing cuffs on this person and herding him, roughly, into a police cruiser]


Anyone read this far? Anyone narritively hooked and want to hear the rest of the story? Pls comment. 😉


Stuff & Things

Tuesday, April 16th, 2002

Watched a interesting video on the net today, courtesy of a friend of mine..

click here to see some cleverly edited footage of the events of Sept 11, along with a question or three we might want to address sooner or later.

One of the things I’ve discovered, much to my suprise [and yes, this is a change of topic] is that there are actually a few television shows with some redeeming qualities. That is, when you download them from morpheus with all the advertising removed. So far, supringly good shows include The Simpsons [suprisingly political, suprisingly left. No wonder my parents hated it ;-)] and Star Trek: The Next Generation. [Suprisingly right on about human nature. I guess it’s social training for geeks or something. Seriously, though, download and watch a few episodes, you’ll find it very refreshing.]

That said, I still am not going to be running out and buying a television set. At some later date, I’ll detail why NTSC is evil and television is physiologically addicting. But for the moment, just accept that I have my reasons. Besides, I’ve got a 36″ SVGA monitor. 😉

More later.

finally on day schedule. Whoopee.

took the ‘which southern state are you from quiz’

Friday, April 12th, 2002

# 1 Missouri
# 2 Mississippi
# 3 North Carolina
# 4 Virginia
# 5 Alabama
# 6 Arkansas
# 7 Florida
# 8 Georgia
# 9 Kentucky
# 10 Louisiana
# 11 South Carolina
# 12 Tennessee
# 13 Texas

I find it telling that texas was the worst possible case. Then again, mississippi? (sp?) What are they _thinking_?

Dramates Personale

Friday, April 12th, 2002

It occurs to me that there may be some people reading this journal somewhere someday who don’t know the dramatas personale. So let me name a few of the major players.

P. is my significant other. I’ll spare you the glowing words, but she’s close enough to perfect that it seems pretty inevitable that I will spend my life with her unless she chooses otherwise.

M. is my closest female friend. She’s a lot like me
C. is one of my closer male friends and a long time coworker [at not one, but two jobs – and I’d hire him again in a heartbeat. his value isn’t always immediately obvious, though]
V. is my ex-significant other, now male.
N. is my ex-child with V., now adopted and living with MY. I’ve had just about nothing to do with his life, though I try to keep in touch with his parents.
DB. is MY.’s ex-SO
NI. & JL. are my oldest friends, and, after P., probebly the people who know me best.

EV personalities and coworkers are considered to be ‘public’ and will be named as such [I.e. Lee Hart, Bruce Sherry, Roy LeMur, Rich Rudman etc] since the majority of my dialogue with them is on projects which are for public consumption.

My parents I will generally refer to as my father and my mother, P.’s father I will refer to as J.

That’s pretty much all the very-active links in my social network.

Reading back over my entries

Friday, April 12th, 2002

Realized I forgot to explain why I am crazy eddie.

If you’ll remember, crazy eddie was the charicter in The Mote In God’s Eye, by Pournelle and Niven [labelled by heinlien ‘possibly the best science fiction I have ever read’], who personified {and I’m not quoting, this is from memory)

‘When a city has gotten as full as it can get, when there is barely enough power and food to feed and shelter those in it, it is then that this person moves those removing garbage from it to strike for better wages’.

He’s also described as the engineer using tomorrow’s profits to build today’s devices, etc.

And he’s also the one who sent a probe to the human race, resulting in the humans discovering the moties, a race locked in a endless cycle of wars because they reproduce too quickly. A motie has two choices.. have sex or die.

And, he is also me.

The trained worker, working on a invention that has already been tried, and failed commercially, many times. Aware that he will fail, doing the best he can to share as much of his progress as publicly as possible, so that others can follow in his footsteps. Tilting against a windmill.

This is why I play april fools jokes on the EV list. This is why I laugh so much, both at myself and at the situation. Because I have to – because if I ever forget, even for a second, that I’m not doing something completely insane by the majority definition of sane, I’ll let go.

I’m sure each person can only keep it up so long. You either actually do go crazy, or you back off and return to more useful and profitible work. And, if someone waves a job in front of me, I might take it. I won’t give up on my EV hobby, but it will be condensed to evenings and weekends.

It seems someone like me can’t get a government grant – you have to jump through a lot of hoops that I’m not really set up to jump through. P. is trying, though, and for this I really respect her. She’s just as aware as I am of the crazy-eddieness of it all.

Actually, I’ve found a little ‘enclave’ of crazy eddies in seattle. SEVA has 40 or 50 members who regularly attend, and at least five are ‘pros’ – they make their living on electric vehicles.